AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo File picture: Sumaya Hisham

Mvezo, Eastern Cape - Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota met AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo on Wednesday ahead of a rally near Mvezo in the Eastern Cape, the party said.

“The king has indicated that a number of his subjects supported Cope and despite the fact the he is a DA member he wanted the president (Lekota) to address them,” spokesman Johann Abrie said.

“The president had a half hour conversation with the king on Wednesday morning”.

Abrie said Dalindyebo was not joining the Congress of the People. After the meeting Lekota left for the rally and halfway through his speech Dalindyebo arrived unannounced, said Abrie.

Lekota was addressing a rally of about 500 Cope supporters. Dalindyebo then asked him if he could address the rally.

“He (Dalindyebo) said to them this is your president. You came to a Cope rally, if you don't want to vote for Cope vote for the DA. If not the DA then the UDM, because the ANC is the enemy. He said the ANC destroyed our freedom,” said Abrie.

“The king requested that everyone present vote for the opposition to make sure we punish the arrogance of the ANC.”

In July last year, the AbaThembu king joined the Democratic Alliance. He made headlines just before then when he reportedly described the African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma as “corrupt hooligans”.

He made the remarks in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, at a prayer service for former president Nelson Mandela.

Dalindyebo reportedly said the ANC had distorted the anti-apartheid icon's legacy and behaved arrogantly. He said he would stop smoking dagga the day Zuma stopped being corrupt.

At the time, AbaThembu royal family spokesman Nkosi Daludumo Mtirara said the family had apologised to Zuma. He said a resolution in September last year, to remove Dalindyebo as king, had not been finalised.